The Adventures of Paddington Bear

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Adventures of Paddington Bear TV Poster Image
Classic book character delights in gentle animated series.

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Educational Value

Paddington's world travels introduce kids to unique aspects of different countries and cultures, experiencing everything from the Tour de France to Irish castles. 

Positive Messages

Kids see the cause and effect of Paddington's well-meaning actions and the messes they accidentally cause, but his positive attitude eventually saves the day every time. No matter what, he always tries to do the right thing. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Paddington is polite, kind, and motivated by curiosity and a desire to help others, a combination that often leads him into compounding mishaps. At adventure's end, though, he always acknowledges that, for all its twists and turns, the experience taught him something new.  

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

The series is based on a popular character from children's literature, whose image also graces toys, games, and many other items marketed toward kids.  

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Adventures of Paddington Bear uses the comical misadventures of its classic titular character to show kids the value of perseverance and the joy of learning new things. Polite Paddington always means well, despite his often-misguided ideas, and kids will relate to the frustrations of having plans go awry. But they also should recognize the value of continuing to try and the excitement one can feel about an eventual happy result. When Paddington's travels take him to other parts of the world, kids are introduced to some notable aspects of each new location and the culture of the people there. 

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What's the story?

THE ADVENTURES OF PADDINGTON BEAR sees Paddington (voiced by Jonathan Kydd) settled in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Brown (Jon Glover and Meriam Stover) after leaving darkest Peru and his beloved Aunt Lucy behind. Always looking for adventure, Paddington finds no shortage of that with the Browns, whose patience is often tried by the many messes the bear makes of everyday life. And when his curiosity takes him beyond the confines of London, he finds the world to be an even bigger playground for his escapades.

Is it any good?

Based on Michael Bond's beloved book character, The Adventures of Paddington Bear is a sweet animated series from the '90s that stays true to the original work's gentility and classic humor. The show makes no attempt to modernize the stories either visually or by altering the nature of Paddington's adventures or surroundings, making it a great departure from the sights and sounds of today's shows. For this reason, it will be an acquired taste for some kids, but since parents likely will remember the books from their own childhoods, it's a wonderful pick for family viewing.

What makes Paddington such an endearing character is his authenticity; he's well-meaning and brimming with ideas, but more often than not even his best-laid plans cause mishaps. But because he never throws in the towel and keeps looking to improve, kids will see the value of trying hard and keeping a positive attitude. What's more, Paddington is the model of good manners and a sunny disposition, making it easy to root for him through every challenge. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Paddington's personality helps him overcome challenges. Does he ever get frustrated when things don't go as planned? Why is it difficult to keep a positive outlook in situations like his? 

  • Kids: Why are manners important? How do you feel when others don't treat you with respect? What are some examples of good manners at mealtime? In public places? Among siblings and friends?

  • Paddington's adventures take him to a lot of interesting places. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why? What new adventures can you have closer to home? 

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